Father's Day Interview Series-Erin from Weston Farms
Erin has been a longtime friend to Caroline's Cakes. We have enjoyed working together on several photoshoots and give aways. I also make it a point to have a wreath from Weston Farms hanging on our front door, and it is absolutely beautiful! I hope you enjoy our conversation with Erin!
A bit about my dad…
My father, the first horticulturist for the City of Raleigh, began his adventures in gardening in childhood by rooting boxwoods with his grandmother. She showed him that clippings taken from the hedge in winter could be rooted in sand by spring.
On a vacation in the early 70’s to Georgia, Noel noticed a recent freeze had killed all the palms in the landscape of his hotel except one. It also was loaded with seed. He offered the owner of the hotel a $100, a small fortune then, to collect the seed, and he said, “nah, just get them.” He put the labeled seeds away.
Life came up and he forgot to plant them. Perhaps a year later, he found the forgotten seeds. They were partially disintegrated but he planted them anyway. Those forgotten seeds germinated and the seedlings became a cold tolerant strain of palm trees commercially available today.
What is one of your favorite traditions or memories with your dad?
June is when Daylily bloom in North Carolina. My favorite Father’s Day memories are visiting dad in his garden when the Daylily were at the peak of perfection on the second Sunday of June. He would beam when the fields were in flower. He would whisk me around on his golf cart as we dodged the sprinklers to show me flowers that bloomed for the very first time from seeds that he’d hybridize, collected and planted. I treasure that time and although he is no longer on earth, I celebrate Father’s Day as a day of gratitude and beautiful memories as his legacy is with me.
What is something your father always said? (a catch phrase, a piece of advice, something he was right about! etc.)
He often said, “plants want to grow.” I think about that simple sentence a lot because in it there is optimism, hope and effort.
Any special words of advice that you'd like to share with dads? (serious or funny)
My father was always very good at creating enough space for me to fail “a little.” In other words, he would let me know if he didn’t agree with what I was doing in a kind and gentle way. Sometimes he would be right; other times I would. The big thing was that he did not make a point of arguing about decisions I made for my life. If I made a mistake over something he cautioned me on, he never said I told you so. Instead, he would simply tell me how he would chart his course. He was very good about saying to people “this is how I would go about this” vs “this is how you do this.” I think it translated beautifully for fatherhood.
Fill in the blank: If I turn on ____ song it immediately reminds me of my dad and brings a smile to my face.
The song that always reminds me of my father is “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. His Birthday was in September and I have fond memories dancing with dad to the song. He would often say: “Erin, stop trying to lead.” It always makes me smile and laugh.
We have to ask...What is your favorite layer cake?
My father’s favorite combination was Chocolate Cake and Dr. Pepper. We served this at his celebration of life and the unique combination always makes me smile.
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